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Medical News

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Gives Long Protection -- Study

April 7, 2006

In a new study, researchers report that women given the vaccine Cervarix maintained high levels of antibodies against two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) for up to 4.5 years after receiving their last dose. HPV strains 16 and 18 cause more than 70 percent of cervical cancer, a disease that kills 230,000 women a year, chiefly in the developing world.

"These findings set the stage for widescale adoption of HPV vaccination for prevention of cervical cancer," said lead author Dr. Diane Harper of Dartmouth Medical School.

Harper and colleagues followed 800 women who took part in the original trial, in which Cervarix was compared to a placebo. They found the vaccinated women had high levels of antibodies to strains 16 and 18, and the levels did not decrease over time. In addition, the vaccine conferred protection against new and persistent infections and showed effectiveness against strains 45 and 31, which are the third- and fourth-most prevalent cancer-causing types of HPV.

"The results show sustained immune response and long-term efficacy against HPV-16 and HPV-18 infection," Harper said.

The maker of Cervarix, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, in March submitted an application seeking approval by the European Medicines Agency. In December, Merck & Co. Inc. applied for US and European approval of its HPV vaccine, Gardasil.

The full report, "Sustained Efficacy Up to 4.5 Years of a Bivalent L1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine Against Human Papillomavirus Types 16 and 18: Follow-up from a Randomised Control Trial," was published online in The Lancet (doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68439-0).

Back to other news for April 7, 2006

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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